Sunday, March 15, 2015

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time 4-14 - Enter the Dragon

There are times I wish I didn’t pay attention to the guest cast as much as I do.  It kind of spoiled tonight’s cliffhanger.  So if you don’t want to make my mistake and haven’t watched yet, ignore those names that flash by early in the episode and just watch the episode unfold.

Having said that, it’s late, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Our flashback shows up Regina and Maleficent’s first meeting.  And we go back to the time when Regina was an apprentice and Snow White was still young.  Regina’s found Mal’s spell book and has been studying it behind Rumpelstiltskin’s back.  And she wants to meet Mal and see if she can learn magic faster from her than she has from Rumple.  Rumple isn’t happy about the idea, but he magically transport’s Regina to Mal’s territory.

However, Mal isn’t the sorceress she once was.  She can’t change into a dragon and can’t create fire.  In fact, since (then) Prince Stephen defeated her sleeping curse on Briar Rose, Mal’s been in a funk, using pricks of watered down sleeping potion like a drug.  Upset and disappointed, Regina starts the long journey home – that is until she learns that Princess Aurora is about to marry Prince Phillip.  Aurora?  That would be Stephen and Briar Rose’s daughter.

Even with this news, Mal isn’t sure she can do anything to get her revenge.  Regina takes her to a tree that has been burning for 50 years – a tree that Mal originally set on fire.  Mal absorbs the fire just as King Stephen shows up to capture Mal and keep her from destroying Aurora’s happiness.  Mal tries to turn into a dragon, but it doesn’t work, and she and Regina are captured.

Regina isn’t going to take this defeat without a fight however.  She uses her limited magic to burn through her ropes and throw a fireball at one of Stephen’s soldiers, but that seems to be the extent of Regina’s current magical ability.  Mal gives turning into a dragon another try, and this time it works.  She flies at the soldiers, with Stephen yelling at them to retreat.

Then she shows up in Aurora’s room.  Aurora recognizes this woman by reputation but challenges Mal, telling Mal that she will never win.  However, Mal pricks Aurora with a needle filled with sleeping potion.

Our final flashback scene is Regina back in her own stable as she’s just used the sleeping potion on Snow White’s beloved horse.  She then tells Rumple that she has realized she has a great teacher.  Furthermore, she can wait a long time to get her revenge.

And this parallel’s nicely as Regina and Mal reform their friendship in Storybrooke, this time with Regina needing to remember who she is.  You’ll remember, Regina is going undercover with the Queens of Darkness.  But can she do it without becoming evil herself?  She starts by walking in to Granny’s, where the trio are hanging out after hours drinking.  She announces she wants in on whatever their plan is, but naturally, they aren’t going to take her word for it.  They go out in Cruella’s car, and Cruella stops on a railroad track just as a train is approaching.  (Really?  A train in Storybrooke?  How is that possible since no one can get in or out?)  The game is “Don’t be a Hero” and the first one to rescue them loses.  Seriously, that’s just stupid.  You have to die to prove you aren’t a hero?  Then who will finish your quest to destroy the heros?  Regina caves and rescues them, but then she suggests they go out for other mischief.

Meanwhile, Mary Margaret and David have filled in Emma on their undercover plan with Regina.  Emma is less than thrilled to find out about it after the fact.  She’s even less happy when she learns that Regina was supposed to check in an hour ago.  They start a search for Regina that only ends the next morning when Mary Margaret and David find Regina next to a burned out Sheriff’s car in the forest.  She chastises them for searching for her since it will blow her cover.

That night, however, she does request a meeting and is less than happy when the entire Charming baseball team and their pirate mascot show up.  (That would be Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and Hook.  Henry didn’t actually show up.)  However, she reveals that she has learned that trio is after the Author, not to ask for a rewrite of their own fate, but to force the Author to take away the hero’s happy endings thereby giving the trio a happy ending.  Also, she feels they have another source of magic that they are holding back from her.  She is going on a secret mission to steal some clue to the author.  Emma insists that she is going to shadow Regina, and she does, using a tracking app to follow Regina’s phone as well as following in David’s truck.

It’s just Mal that shows up for this secret mission, a mission that Gold had described to the trio earlier as the first punch in a war – a war that would force Regina to choose which side she was truly on.  Their mission, kidnap Pinocchio.  Regina tries to argue that she’s already questioned him and it won’t do any good, but Mal insists they have other ways and sends Regina in to kidnap the boy.  She walks in to the studio and wipes out Marco and Pinocchio with a sleeping spell, but before she can leave with the boy, Emma walks in.  She wants to put a stop to everything.  She even insists that everyone has been lying to her since the trio arrived in town, including her own parents.  Yes, her super power is going crazy with all the lying she is sensing.  (I had wondered about that last week.)  But Regina still insists she has this under control and walks out the door.  Emma stays behind in the workshop until she knows that Regina is on the move.  Only Regina never moves.  Emma realizes what is happening and rushes outside only to find Regina’s phone on the ground.  On the screen is a message – “I got this.”

Meanwhile, Henry is still pouring over the book trying to find the clues in the new pages of August’s they’ve found we found last week but getting nowhere.

And, while Will Scarlet and Belle are in Granny’s on a date, Hook shows up, bumping into Will in his side of the booth harder than he needs to.  He even indicates that he and Will have a past and he doesn’t like him.  But his real reason for being there is to talk to Belle.  He is concerned that the trio will get a hold of the dagger and use it to control Gold.  So he suggests that she dig it up and let him rebury it so that it will always be safe.  After all, if you want to hide something, get a pirate to do it.

Belle goes along with the idea and unburies the dagger.  However, she can’t quite bring herself to give it to Hook.  She’s afraid that Gold is already back in town, so Hook suggests that Belle use the dagger to command the dark one to appear before her.  Belle does and nothing happens.  Satisfied, she hands over the dagger and leaves.  Seriously, I felt so stupid because I was wondering what that meant when suddenly Hook turned into Gold.  He was there all the time, so that’s why he didn’t “appear.”

Some time later, Gold/Hook then walks into the pawn shop and tells Belle that the dagger is safely hidden again.  He suggests they swear to never speak of this again, and Belle agrees.  And then he asks Belle about Will.  Belle admits that Will is a nice change from Gold because he is nothing more than he appears to be.  Belle admits that she is not over Gold and might never be over him.  But she also knows that Will makes her smile, and for now that is enough.  Meanwhile, Belle asks the man in front of her what Will did to upset him so much.  The answer?  “Took something I loved.”  And with that, Gold/Hook leaves the shop.

Which I think brings us to the final scene for the night.  Regina and Mal have arrived with Pinocchio at the cabin where the trio plus Gold are hiding out – Gold’s cabin in the forest.  That’s when Gold reveals himself to Regina.  He again questions her on where her loyalties lie, but she assures him that she has now remembered her true place in life.  Satisfied, Gold reveals the next part of the plan – turning Pinocchio back into August.  And with a wave of his dagger, August appears.

End of episode.

In the season two premier, when Aurora woke up, she asks Prince Phillip how long she’d been asleep, and he indicated it had only been a year, although they’d been stuck in the curse for 30 years just with time only moving forward 9 months (aka when Emma arrived in Storybrooke).  Regina and Snow were a long ways from the place they were when the curse was cast, so how is it that Aurora hadn’t aged at all.  I’m guessing she should have aged at least 10-15 years.  And did she go under the curse twice?  Or is this a continuity error we weren’t supposed to notice?

And, as a mystery lover, I must say I loved seeing Mal in Storybrooke dressed as a 1940’s femme fatal, or at least as a woman from a 1940’s mystery movie.  And I am having such a hard time recognizing her in either time frame without her signature headdress.

Last week, I predicted that Regina would turn evil as a result of being undercover.  I don’t think it has happened – at least not yet.  She is just saying and doing what she must do to find out the plan.  I really do feel like she is still playing the undercover part.  Could I be wrong about where they are going this season?  I hope not because I really think Regina pulling Emma away from the brink of darkness would make for a powerful story.

So, how are people going to react when they learn Gold is back in town?  And how will Belle react to learning she’s been tricked out of the dagger?

And yet, for all the evil and trouble he’s caused, I still couldn’t help but feeling for him as he was talking to Belle about her new relationship.  Gold really does love Belle, and if anything would put him permanently on the path of right, it would be that Belle.  His lust for power is too great, however, just as it was with Baelfire/Neal.

I know we are only three episodes in, but I’m loving this story arc.  I hope they find a way to defeat the trio without killing them.  I’d love them to always be out there just in case they found a way/need to bring them back at a later date.

Speaking of being back, August is back.  I’d heard rumors he was coming back in this half of the season, but I didn’t know when until I spotted the actor’s name in the guest star credits.  Before those rumors started, I didn’t think we’d ever see him again.  Yet, I feel so sorry for Marco/Geppetto since it means he is going to once again miss getting to watch his boy grow up.  Still, he did get Pinocchio for two years.  (I think before last week the last time we’d seen them was season two when August became Pinocchio, right?)

I think that’s all I’ve got for tonight.  Remember to hit me up with comments and theories.

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